One of my favorite things about Jesus are his parables. Those of us who have grown up in, or at least around the church, know them well. The Good Shepherd, the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, The Workers in the Vineyard, the Mustard Seed, the Wedding Banquet, the Sheep and the Goats and the Lost Coin are only a few of the forty some parables of Jesus.
This summer those of us at Camas Friends have decided to work through a number of the parables of Jesus. The goal isn’t to “figure them out” so much as it is to enter into them in a way that we become participants in the story and allow them to expand our imaginations about the Kingdom of God. It seems to me that the (big ‘C’) Church suffers from a lack of imagination all too frequently. Not only are we happy to hear the interpretations of the Bible that were birthed in another historical period, but we often read our sacred text in a way that guards ourselves from being read into the challenges the text often offers. We would much rather identify with the protagonists, than turn a difficult parable of Jesus back onto ourselves.